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Manipuri people on the verge of losing their identity

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New Delhi: The ever growing fear of losing one’s own distinct identity has plagued the people residing in the bordering areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh and in the north-eastern states including  Assam and Tripura.

Notably, Manipuris have their own script and they are the only mountain tribes who extensively follow the ‘Vaishnavite’ branch of Hindu religion.

Community leader K Sunder Gopal Sharma told reporters, “today, Manipuris in Myanmar hardly number 10,000 as against over one lakh decades ago. Thousands of Manipuris, including devout Vaishnavas, have since converted to Buddhism”. He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.  Gopal said he feared that if nothing is done, the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon see their distinct cultural identity lose out to the native population there.

He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.

Sharma feared that if no prompt move is taken then the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon lose their distinct cultural identity to the native population there.

The Manipuri villages in Assam and Tripura have seen a huge reduction of the population since Independence.

While over one lakh people dwelled in the area in 1947, only 10,000 people remained in the villages at present. Khaidem Kanta, vice president of Manei, an organisation of the Manipuri diaspora in Barak Valley in Assam, said, the Manipuris in the state are facing cultural and linguistic challenges.

“The younger generation of Manipuris getting schooled in Assam cannot speak fluently or write their mother-tongue. There is job reservation for people of Manipuri origin, but most educated youths do not get through in the absence of an elected leader to champion their cause.”

However, the situation is quite different in Bangladesh as Manipuri people remain connected to their roots. They are still able to maintain their custom and rituals and their cultural heritage remains preserved due to the connection with their natives in India.(Inputs IANS)

 

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First satellite launched by Bangladesh

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh's specified orbit slot "within 36 minutes" of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

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In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14 billion taka ($180 million) loan agreement with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country's first-ever satellite.
Satellite, pixabay

Bangladesh launched its first satellite, “Bangabandhu-1”, on Saturday, becoming the 57th nation in the world and fourth in South Asia after India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to own a satellite.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the communication satellite, named after the Bangladesh founder, early in the morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, bdnews24 reported.

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh’s specified orbit slot “within 36 minutes” of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

The launch was telecast live in Bangladesh, with experts saying it will serve as a milestone in the telecommunication sector.

“The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world,” said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.

"The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world," said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.
Bangladesh, pixabay

“The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will certainly bring revolutionary changes in our broadcast and telecommunications sector. With this launching, we’ve hoisted the Bangladesh flag in the space… entered a new era.”

She thanked the satellite building and launching company, the US and the French governments for their support. Hasina also praised Russia for renting its orbital slot to Bangladesh.

Experts said that the country’s first geostationary communication satellite will give extra space to the digitization process. It will help expand Internet and telecommunication services in remote and rugged areas which still remained beyond the coverage.

Once the satellite becomes active at its orbital slot, it will be reportedly controlled from three stations in the US, Italy and South Korea for about a month. Finally, the satellite will be controlled and maintained from ground stations in Bangladesh.

In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14 billion taka ($180 million) loan agreement with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country’s first-ever satellite.

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In November 2015, Bangladesh signed a 19.51 billion taka ($248 million) deal with French firm Thales Alenia Space for the satellite project.

The Bangladeshi government also purchased a 119.1 east longitude orbital slot from Russia-based Intersputnik for 15 years for $28 million. (IANS)